Mercedes exec says India may develop into an export hub

NEW DELHI — A complete commerce deal between India and the European Union may pave the way in which for Mercedes-Benz to supply extra vehicles within the South Asian nation, doubtlessly making it an export hub, Mercedes’ India chief, Martin Schwenk, advised Reuters.

In June, the EU and India relaunched talks for a free commerce settlement with the intention of finishing them by the tip of 2023.

Talks started in 2007 however had been frozen in 2013 resulting from lack of progress on points together with EU calls for for better entry to Indian markets for its vehicles.

A commerce deal that places India in a aggressive scenario or offers it a bonus over different markets the place Mercedes produces vehicles would “positively assist,” Martin Schwenk mentioned in an interview, when requested in regards to the automaker’s export plans.

“To provide one automobile out of India for all markets of the world may very well be a method. But when we can not, for instance, export to the EU with out penalties then we will be unable to compete in opposition to our manufacturing facility in Hungary,” he mentioned.

Mercedes on Friday launched its first domestically constructed electrical car – the EQS 580, a variant of its flagship S-Class sedan, with plans to doubtlessly construct extra clear vehicles within the nation.

“We’re aiming within the subsequent 8-10 years, to totally electrify the portfolio and be an electrical producer right here. The intention is to construct the potential now and relying on how demand develops … enhance the numbers,” he mentioned, including the present technique was to not export.

To provide a mannequin in a single location would require an annual quantity of 150,000 to 200,000 vehicles, Schwenk mentioned.

Though Mercedes is India’s largest luxurious automaker, it bought simply 11,242 vehicles in 2021. At its peak in 2018, it bought 15,500.

India is basically a small- and low-cost automobile market, wherein luxurious fashions make up 1 % of whole annual gross sales of about three million vehicles.

The posh EV market is even smaller and largely untested, with most fashions at present imported at excessive tariffs.

The EQS has a licensed vary of 857 kms (532.5 miles) on a single cost and shall be priced at 15.5 million rupees ($190,564).

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